Sanford Health, UnityPoint Health announce plan to merge

Sanford Health
Sanford Health and UnityPoint Health signed a letter of intent for a plan to merge, they jointly announced on Friday. (Sanford Health)

South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Iowa-based UnityPoint Health are pursuing an $11 billion merger that would create one of the 15 largest nonprofit health systems in the country.

The two health systems announced on Friday that they signed a letter of intent to pursue the plan to merge, saying they are seeking to become leaders in “personalized primary care.”

They said they intend to complete the deal by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals. 

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Sanford Health is a system with 44 hospitals, 482 clinics and more than 200 senior care centers in nine countries and 26 states. UnityPoint is a nonprofit network of 32 hospitals, as well as clinics and home care services, in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

The combined organization would employ more than 83,000 staff and 2,600 physicians and carry out operations in 26 states and nine countries, including hospitals, clinics, health plans and networks, post-acute care, research, innovation and other lines of business.

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“Sanford and UnityPoint are two successful systems intent on controlling our own destiny,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, in a statement. “We believe that in the very near future, fully integrated health systems will drive greater value through affordable options for high-quality health care to patients, governments and employers. The combination of Sanford and UnityPoint will help both organizations better meet this need, creating a new system positioned for continued growth across a broad geography.”